Posts Tagged Mobile Application

[WEB SITE] PolyU develops robotic arm for self-help mobile rehabilitation for stroke patients

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CAPTION
The PolyU-developed robotic arm is the first-of-its-kind integration of exo-skeleton, soft robot and exo-nerve stimulation technologies. It is light in weight, compact in size, fast in response and demands minimal power supply, thus suitable for use in both indoor and outdoor environment.
CREDIT
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

 

(October 31, 2018) The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) recently developed a robotic arm to facilitate self-help and upper-limb mobile rehabilitation for stroke patients. The lightweight device enables the patients to engage in intensive and effective self-help rehabilitation exercise anywhere, anytime after they are discharged from hospital. The robotic arm, called “mobile exo-neuro-musculo-skeleton”, is the first-of-its-kind integration of exo-skeleton, soft robot and exo-nerve stimulation technologies.

Stroke is the third leading cause of disability worldwide. In Hong Kong, there are about 25,000 new incidences of stroke annually in recent years. Research studies have proven that intensive, repeated and long-term rehabilitation training are critical for enhancing the physical mobility of stroke patients, thus help alleviating post-stroke symptoms such as disability. However, access to the outpatient rehabilitation service for stroke patients has been difficult. Due to the overwhelming demand for rehabilitation services, patients have to queue up for a long time to get a slot for rehabilitation training. As such, they can’t get timely support and routine rehabilitation exercises. Stroke patients also find it challenging to travel from home to outpatient clinics.

The “mobile exo-neuro-musculo-skeleton”, developed by Dr Hu Xiao-ling and her research team in the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) of PolyU, features lightweight design (up to 300g for wearable upper limb components, which are fit for different functional training needs), low power demand (12V rechargeable battery supply for 4-hour continuous use), and sportswear features. The robotic arm thus provides a flexible, self-help, easy-to-use, mobile tool for patients to supplement their rehabilitation sessions at the clinic. The innovative training option can effectively enhance the rehabilitation progress.

Dr Hu Xiaoling said development of the novel device was inspired by the feedback of many stroke patients who were discharged from hospital. They faced problems in having regular and intensive rehabilitation training crucial for limb recovery. “We are confident that with our mobile exo-neuro-musculo-skeleton, stroke patients can conduct rehabilitation training anytime and anywhere, turning the training into part of their daily activities. We hope such flexible self-help training can well supplement traditional outpatient rehabilitation services, helping stroke patients achieve a much better rehabilitation progress.” Her team anticipated that the robotic arm can be commercialised in two years.

The BME innovation integrates exo-skeleton and soft robot structural designs – the two technologies commonly adopted in existing upper-limb rehabilitation training devices for stroke patients as well as the PolyU-patented exo-nerve stimulation technology.

Integration of exo-skeleton, soft robot and exo-nerve stimulation technologies

The working principle of both exo-skeleton and soft robot designs is to provide external mechanical forces driven by voluntary muscle signals to assist the patient’s desired joint movement. Conventional exo-skeleton structure is mainly constructed by orthotic materials such as metal and plastic, simulating external bones of the patient. Although it is compact in size, it is heavy and uncomfortable to wear. Soft robot, made of air-filled or liquid-filled pipes to simulate one’s external muscles, is light in weight but very bulky in size. Both types of structures demand high electrical power for driving motors or pumps, thus it is not convenient for patients to use them outside hospitals or rehabilitation centres. Combining the advantages of both structural designs, the BME innovative robotic arm is light in weight, compact in size, fast in response and demands minimal power supply, therefore it is suitable for use in both indoor and outdoor environment.

The robotic arm is unique in performing outstanding rehabilitation effect by further integrating the external mechanical force design with the PolyU-patented Neuro-muscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) technology. Upon detecting the electromyography signals at the user’s muscles, the device will respond by applying NMES to contract the muscles, as well as exerting external mechanical forces to assist the joint’s desired voluntary movement. Research studies found that the combination of muscle strength triggered by NMES and external mechanical forces is 40% more effective for stroke rehabilitation than applying external mechanical forces alone.

Rehabilitation effect proven in trials

An initial trial of the robotic arm on 10 stroke patients indicated better muscle coordination, wrist and finger functions, and lower muscle spasticity of all after they have completed 20 two-hour training sessions. Further clinical trials will be carried out in collaboration with hospitals and clinics.

The robotic arm consists of components for wrist/hand, elbow, and fingers which can be worn separately or together for different functional training needs. The sportswear design, using washable fabric with ultraviolet protection and good ventilation, also makes the robotic arm a comfortable wear for the patients.

The device also has a value-added feature of connecting to a mobile application (APP) where user can use the APP interface to control their own training. The APP also records real-time training data for better monitoring of the rehabilitation progress by both healthcare practitioners and the patients themselves. It can also serve as a social network platform for stroke patients to communicate online with each other for mutual support.

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Press Contacts:

Dr Hu Xiaoling, Assistant Professor
Department of Biomedical Engineering, PolyU
Telephone : 3400 3206
Email : htxlhu@polyu.edu.hk

 

via PolyU develops robotic arm for self-help mobile rehabilitation for stroke patients | EurekAlert! Science News

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[ARTICLE] An Investigation of the Current Practice to Support Upper Limb Rehabilitation among Advanced Stroke Survivors – Full Text PDF

Abstract

Stroke rehabilitation helps one to relearn skills lost when a stroke affected part of the brain. Stroke rehabilitation programmes involving technology-assisted physical activities have been employed to complement the conventional practices. The success of such a program lies primarily on how well the current practices are understood, and translated onto the activities planned. This is a challenge to system designers, dealing with the technology, who may have limited access to stroke patients.
This paper addresses the issue by investigating the current rehabilitation practices conducted on stroke survivors. The methods involved interviewing the stroke rehabilitation practitioners, and observing how therapy sessions were conducted in a local rehabilitation centre.
The study findings revealed that conventional rather than technology-supported methods are still the dominant approach used for stroke rehabilitation. Paper and pencil techniques are still in practice for re-learning how to write among advanced stroke survivors. Similarly, activities with the early and intermediate groups at the rehabilitation centre have not been supported by any computer technology yet.
The feedback obtained from the practitioners could be used as a basis to design suitable technology-assisted programs especially for advanced stroke survivors in handwriting activities.

Full Text PDF

via An Investigation of the Current Practice to Support Upper Limb Rehabilitation among Advanced Stroke Survivors | Hafizha Musthafa | Indonesian Journal of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

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[ARTICLE] M-health and Physiotherapy – Full Text PDF

ABSTRACT
Rehabilitation exercises are those exercises that help in
improving joint and muscle function, helping people stand,
balance, walked. But these exercises work if done regularly
and done as proposed by the therapist. Sometimes the patients
has problems like scheduling their daily tasks, their
commitment for doing those exercises, and some other
difficultiessimilar to this. Thus failing to do the
movements and get benefit from the exercises. This paper
proposes a system that provides an intuitive way for
rehabilitation. This system contains use of pervasive health
technologies for addressing the over difficulty. The system
would provide a graphical interfacethat would help the
physiotherapist to create exercises in 3Denvironment, wherein
he would be animating a humanoid to showhow the exercise
is to be done.This would show to be more intuitive to patients
rather thanon paper. The system would also let therapist to
monitor patient while he/she is exercising.

1. INTRODUCTION
Physical therapy cures injuries and promotes movements of
injured body parts by examining the patient’s body, diagnosing
the patient and then treating the patient using mechanical
force and movements which is carried out by physical
therapists (also known as physiotherapist). Analysis aims to
extend, and restore maximum functional ability throughout
life action uses the patient history and the physical
examination to find out what really the patient needs to do, to
restore the mobility of the injured muscle. Physical therapy
has many types of specialities:
• Cardiopulmonary
• Geriatrics
• Neurological
• Sports
• Orthopaedic and
• Paediatrics
With the developing technology worldwide, people have
started using handheld devices to carry on their day-to-day
activities. With this advancement, the demand for pervasive
computing and 3D visualization of images and videos has
been raised. The area this paper focuses on is a tele-medicine
and tele-therapy system for helpingthe patient to get the help
of the doctors at their home. When a patient undergoes a
surgery, he may need a physiotherapy session to regain his/her
muscle functionality. For this purpose the patient may need to
take one-to-one session with the physiotherapist. The patient
requires to do these sessions again and again till he/she
regains the muscle functionality. Much man power, resources
and time is need to do all this.
In today’s life, it may be impossible for a patient to get
sometime from the busy schedule and go for these one-to-one
sessions.Also there are elderly people who get surgery but
aren’t able to goto the therapist for every day sessions, also
there are people that live inremote location and due to this
they are not able to get good healthcare services. To resolve
such problems we will be developing a telephysiotherapysystem,
which would help to cater patients at
theirdoorstep. The system would be developed in two stages.
In the firststage the doctor will be provided with an interface
where he/shecan animate a humanoid with the exercise the
patient needs to do.
This would be done using the mobile device the therapist
would behaving. After creating this animation, the therapist
would be ableto record the animation and send the animation
to the appropriatepatient. In the second stage we would be
using sensors and otherdevices to monitor the patient
exercises(If the first stage proves tobe successful).
As stated in the first stage, the therapist would be able to
create3D animations, for which we can use the 3D computer
graphicalrendering on mobile devices. This 3D visualization
would be moreintuitive than the printed paper counterpart.
Thus, it is hoped thatthis would help to improve the patient
health in less costly way.

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[Abstract] Supporting Stroke Motor Recovery Through a Mobile Application: A Pilot Study

Abstract

Neuroplasticity and motor learning are promoted with repetitive movement, appropriate challenge, and performance feedback. ARMStrokes, a smartphone application, incorporates these qualities to support motor recovery. Engaging exercises are easily accessible for improved compliance. In a multiple-case, mixed-methods pilot study, the potential of this technology for stroke motor recovery was examined. Exercises calibrated to the participant’s skill level targeted forearm, elbow, and shoulder motions for a 6-wk protocol. Visual, auditory, and vibration feedback promoted self-assessment. Pre- and posttest data from 6 chronic stroke survivors who used the app in different ways (i.e., to measure active or passive motion, to track endurance) demonstrated improvements in accuracy of movements, fatigue, range of motion, and performance of daily activities. Statistically significant changes were not obtained with this pilot study. Further study on the efficacy of this technology is supported.

Related Articles

Source: Supporting Stroke Motor Recovery Through a Mobile Application: A Pilot Study | American Journal of Occupational Therapy

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